If you aren't sure if you are "codependent", check the following statements, which describe many typical characteristics of the "codependent" personality.
Oftentimes, we find that both the primary addict and those closest to them are or have become highly sensitive people. They can feel, read and react to the energy in the room before anyone speaks a word.
Don't feel happy, content, or peaceful with themselves.
Look for happiness outside themselves.
Latch onto whatever or whoever they think can provide happiness.
Feel terribly threatened by the loss of any thing or person they think provides their
Didn't feel love and approval from their parents.
Don't love themselves.
Believe other people can't or don't love them.
Desperately seek love and approval
Often seek love from people incapable of loving.
Equate love with pain.
Feel they need people more than they want them.
Try to prove they are good enough to be loved.
Worry whether other people love or like them.
Center their lives around other people.
Look to relationships to provide all their good feelings.
Worry that other people will leave them.
Feel trapped in relationships.
Leave bad relationships and form new ones that don't work either.
Wonder if they will ever find love.
Think and feel responsible for other people - for other people's feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being, and ultimate destiny.
Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when other people have a problem.
Feel compelled - almost forced - to help that person solve the problem.
Feel angry when help given isn't effective.
Wonder why others don't do the same for them.
Find themselves saying "yes" when they mean "no".
Do things they don't really want to be doing.
Do more than their fair share of the work.
Try to please others instead of themselves.
Feel safest when giving.
Feel insecure and guilty when somebody gives to them.
Feel sad because they spend their whole lives giving to others and nobody gives to them.
Find themselves attracted to needy people.
Find needy people attracted to them.
Feel bored, empty, and worthless if they don't have a crisis in their lives.
Believe deep inside other people are somehow responsible for them.
Excerpted from Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
Kim Halsey is a human resource professional and executive coach who helps people overcome life damaging habits, restore important relationships, and live their dreams without drama.
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